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Week 5: Team Effort Gets Team West Coast Win
Big plays by defense, special teams is the difference.
by Steve Saslow

Here are our position by position grades:

Quarterback:

Tyrod Taylor had a mental mistake lining up behind the guard instead of the center and an errant snap lost 20 yards. He made up for it by running for 22 yards and converting the 3rd and 19 for a first down to keep the opening touchdown drive alive. He ended the drive by scrambling around to buy time before finding Justin Hunter for the Bills first score. He overthrew a wide open Robert Woods in the third quarter when a decent throw would have been an easy touchdown that would have given the team the lead back. He struggled all game long but did make the game clinching touchdown pass while getting hit in the final minutes.
Grade C-: Only completed 12 passes but at least didn't make mistakes and made the play at the end to clinch it.

Running Backs:

LeSean McCoy had huge holes early and ran through them with authority including his 53 yard run early in the 2nd quarter to setup the Bills second touchdown. He finished with his Bills career high 150 yards rushing and just missed scoring two touchdowns.
Mike Gillislee had a great blitz pickup on a big pass play by Taylor and scored from five yards out.
Reggie Bush did get on the field in his old stopping grounds and had three yards on his lone carry.
Jerome Felton took a 3rd and 1 handoff for a first down.
Grade A: McCoy is still one of the best.

Receivers:

Robert Woods dropped a pass with green grass in front of him but made up for it with a tough catch on the next play. Finished with 26 yards on two catches. Could have had more if Taylor didn't miss him wide open deep.
Marquise Goodwin couldn't hold on to one pass but did catch the game clinching touchdown.
Justin Hunter caught his first pass as a Bill and it went for a touchdown.
Charles Clay caught all five targets for a game high 73 yards.
Grade D: Only five catches by WRs and five from Clay.

Offensive Line:

Eric Wood could have notices Taylor wasn't behind him when he snapped the ball that Taylor was behind Incognito.
Cordy Glenn was called for a penalty.
John Miller had a great block to free McCoy for his 53 yard run.
Grade A: Opened up huge holes for the running game and protected pretty well too.

Defensive Line:

Kyle Williams had four tackles and was pretty active all game long.
Corbin Bryant was called for a facemask penalty.
Adolphus Washington was called for a roughing the passer penalty that negated an incomplete pass. He made up for it with a sack a couple of plays later. He knocked down a pass in the red zone in the fourth quarter. He was very active in this game having perhaps the best game of his young career.
Grade B: Kept the running game at bay and opened things up for the linebackers to make plays.

Linebackers:

Jerry Hughes was fairly quiet with four tackles but did force a fumble.
Preston Brown led the team with seven tackles.
Zach Brown had six tackles and was active.
Lorenzo Alexander was a monster with three sacks and six tackles. He also knocked down a pass.
Lerentee McCray forced Todd Gurley to fumble on the Rams second drive.
Grade A: The best unit on the team.

Secondary:

Stephon Gilmore was beaten down the sidelines for a 31 yard gain by Tavon Austin. He was beaten on a 3rd and 5 completion for a first down into the red zone in the 2nd quarter. He then had Gurley stopped on a 3rd down run short of the first down early in the 2nd half but allowed him to get away and get the first down. He was called for a holding penalty in the fourth quarter negating an incomplete pass.
Ronald Darby was beaten on a slant pattern for an 18 yard gain to Kenny Britt. Snuffed out the fake punt and made the big tackle.
Nickell Robey-Coleman had a pick six in the place he used to roam in college at USC. He ended the game with his second interception of the game.
Aaron Williams was quiet with two tackles.
Corey Graham somehow came out of the pile with Gurley's fumble on the last play of the first quarter thwarting a promising Rams drive. He had four tackles.
Grade D: This unit struggled pretty badly besides Robey-Coleman's big plays.

Special Teams:

Colton Schmidt had a big game dropping four of his six punts inside the 20 with a whopping 45.7 yard net average.
Dan Carpenter Hit a chip shot 23 yard field goal but had one of his four extra points blocked after he kicked it low.
Brandon Tate kept bringing the ball out of the end zone when a touchback would give them better field position. He averaged 22.5 yards on four kickoff returns and had two punt returns for -2 yards.
Coverage Units They covered real good on the fake punt. They weren't fooled for a second. They held Tavon Austin to just two yards on two punt returns. Gave up an average of 21.3 yards on four kickoff returns.
Grade A-: Carpenter's missed extra point was the lone blemish. His second of the year.

Coaching:

Rex Ryan Bad clock management late in the game when they snapped the ball with too much time on the play clock and didn't run the clock down enough. Brought his team cross country and got a win against a team with a winning record. Nice job.
Anthony Lynn His game plan wasn't very imaginative but they did enough to get the win.
Dennis Thurman had his defense get called for a 12 men on the field penalty. His unit did the job down the stretch to lead the team to victory.
Grade A: Three straight wins is real nice.



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